Submission Guidelines


We are happy to review newly released books and interview emerging Southern authors.  We have a growing mailing list of readers  eager for recommendations. (Note: We do not publish stories or poetry, only reviews of books and author interviews.)

Query one of our editors first with a two-to three sentence description of the book. These sentences will be circulated to potential reviewers. Then provide one more sentence explaining its Southern connection (setting, author). If you wish to attach more promotional material that is fine. We do not currently review children’s books or young adult books unless there is crossover appeal for our adult readers. Choose the editor below that most fits your category. If none fits, query any one of the editors.

Donna Meredith: historical novels, serious women’s fiction (not genre romance), environmentally-themed fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction. (I prefer electronic versions of books I can read on my Kindle, but they must be unwatermarked.)

Claire Matturro is not currently accepting queries or submissions.

Dawn Major: literary fiction, horror/magical realism, short story collections, anthologies. No  submissions that glorify abuse against individuals, contains excessive drug use, gore, excessive sex or erotica, or slasher pieces. The suggestion of blood and guts is when it occurs “off-screen,” or as imagined by the reader is acceptable, but please no gratuitous violence. In terms of horror submissions, think Southern Gothic, Southern Legends and Folktales, and Literary Horror first. We are interested in Cemetery Chillers, Dark Humor, Experimental, Ghost stories, Haints, Hauntings, Haunted Forests, Haunted Houses, the Paranormal and the Supernatural, Speculative Memoir and Weird Fiction.

If we wish to review your book, we will ask for a printed copy to be mailed to the reviewer or for an electronic version to be emailed to the reviewer.

For expedited review of your book manuscript if you are an author or publicist, please include:

  • a headshot of the author,
  • biographical information, and
  • indicate the author’s availability for an interview.


Submit book reviews, essays on Southern literature, or author interviews as a fully formatted e-mail attachment to Donna Meredith at for distribution to our editors. (Book review guidelines appear below.)  Reviews should be timely, usually for books no more than two years after publication.  Bear in mind that SLR celebrates Southern authors and Southern literature; the book you choose to review should fit our interests. In general, we consider reviews of books that are by Southern authors or set in the South.  We accept simultaneous submissions, but reviewers should be considerate enough to inform us if they have submitted elsewhere.  Publishing with SLR grants SLR worldwide first electronic and indefinite archive rights. Other rights revert to the author upon publication. Please credit SLR as the initial publisher if you reprint your book review elsewhere.

All book reviews, author interviews, and literary essays must meet the standards of the journal, which include both quality of prose and adherence to our style guidelines. We reserve the right to silently correct non-substantive proofreading, stylistic errors, and unclear prose. Submitters will have a chance to review any substantial alterations to the copyedited manuscript. We prefer to publish reviews of books that have been released in the past eighteen months.

Length. Our preference is for reviews in the range of 500-1500 words, but since we are an online journal, length is not a critical factor.

Submitting reviews. 

  • If possible, please use MS Word when typing your review.
  • Submit your review as a fully formatted e-mail attachment to Donna Meredith at for distribution to our editors.
  • If possible, please submit an author headshot and cover jpg to accompany the review. Both should be between 72-300 dpi. These can often be obtained by downloading from the author’s website or from Amazon. If the author photo is not obtained from such a public domain, please obtain the author’s permission to use it.
  • If you are a first-time contributor to SLR, please submit your own headshot and a brief biography which will be posted on our site. For examples, see


  • Focus on the book’s strengths and what readers might find appealing about it. It’s fine to mention a weakness or two, if these stood out. However, if the book’s overall presentation is weak, we would prefer not to review the book in SLR. We do not accept reviews of poorly edited books with obvious grammatical errors.
  • Plot summary should be provided only to the extent that it supports salient observations about the author’s style, intent, and thematic concerns. Explicitly spoiling major plot developments is discouraged and may be edited out at the editorial staff’s discretion.
  • We encourage quotations from the work, but keep the longer quotations (four lines or more) to a maximum of two or three for reviews of prose. Poetry reviews may require additional quotations to adequately reflect the poet’s imagery and language skills. Double-check all quotations for accuracy prior to submission.
  • We encourage a strong literary or journalistic style in our reviews, but not an overly academic style. We avoid page number references and footnotes. Keep the focus of the review on the book, rather than on yourself. You can familiarize yourself with our book reviews here:

Style Guidelines. Either The Chicago Manual of Style or the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Manual is acceptable as the authority for capitalization, punctuation, and quotations. SLR uses American-style punctuation and spellings. A few special notes:

  • We like the Oxford comma.
  • We prefer apostrophes for a possessive when a person’s last name ends with s (e.g., Sands’s.)
  • Numbers from one to one hundred are spelled out.
  • Avoid beginning and ending quotations with ellipsis marks. You can use them to indicate a shortening of material within a quotation.
  • The em dash is an incredibly versatile punctuation mark that can be used instead of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. The em dash () sets off a word or clause and adds emphasis. It can also signal an interruption or the expansion of an idea. It’s the longest of the dashes, as compared to en dashes or hyphens. Em dashes as interruptors in sentences add a casual and conversational tone that readers enjoy—especially when reading online. (In MS Word on a PC, go to Insert/Symbol/More Symbols/Special Character. You can also type two hyphens without spaces between two words and an em dash will result.)

Heading Format.

“Book Title” by Author Name

Reviewed by Reviewer’s Name


“Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver

Reviewed by Jane Doe

*Note: Within the body of the review, book titles will be italicized rather than enclosed in quotation marks.

Formatting the Body.

  • Single space your text in 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Do not indent the first line of paragraphs. Instead, skip a line between paragraphs.
  • Use a single column layout.
  • Set off long quotations of four lines or more from the surrounding text with an additional space above and below. Indent long quotations on both the right and left margins by .5 inches.
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, footers, or endnotes.
  • Ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version. You may need to “accept all changes” in track changes.

Author Interviews

  • Begin the author interview with a brief paragraph that includes the name of the interviewer, the author being interviewed, and the most recent publication of the author. If there is a personal reason for the interview, by all means, mention it.
  • The interview should provide insight into the writer’s ideas, inspiration, and writing process as deemed appropriate. Interview material should be supplemental to a book review, not a replacement for one. Avoid long plot summaries.
  • Use the interviewer’s initials followed by a colon at the start of the first question. This material should be in boldface.
  • Use the author’s initials followed by a colon to begin the author’s response. This material should be in regular type.
  • Continue in alternating format for the rest of the Q/A.
  • End with a final thank you from the interviewer along with any pertinent last commentary.
  • You can see samples of interviews with formatting on our website: